Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant — the Ten Commandments.Ex. 34:28
I am perplexed at the thought that Moses spent forty days and forty nights on the mountain without food and without water. I am not immediately awed by the fact that He was there to meet with God, nor am I impressed that He received the Law from God. My thoughts are of food and water. I know that we are supposed to live “on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (Deut. 8:3). Yet my flesh struggles with the thought of forty days without food and water.
The thought of being on the mountain without any food or water sounds more like torture than privilege. I am jealous when I read that ‘the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend” (Ex. 33:11). I am jealous in my spirit, but my flesh is weak (Mark 14:38).
This weakness of flesh is the reason I struggle to love the unlovable. It is the reason I cannot find the patience I need when I need it. It is the reason that I often give to others grudgingly.
Yet the Spirit of God in me is causing me to “hunger and thirst for righteousness” in such a way that I am certain I “will be filled” (Matt. 5:6). I am not longing for time with Him, I am longing for Him. According to the Spirit’s working, I have begun the journey to the Father as marked out by the Son. I am not excited about this or that time with the Lord. I am longing to have “eternal life” which, according to Jesus Himself, is to know the Father as “the only true God” and to know the Son Jesus Christ He sent (John 17:3).
We should be seeking to understand who God the Father is according to His nature. We have a picture of this in the life of Jesus, but not just as an example to imitate. We must pursue knowledge of the Triune God according to the Spirit and not the Law. We are not simply seeking to understand what to do, but why the Lord requires that we do it. We are seeking to know the mind of the Father and live according to the Spirit’s leading because we “have the mind of Christ” (1Cor. 2:16).
Soon, perhaps the great sacrifice will be spending time in the world, in the desert of self-interest. Then mountain or no mountain we will be called friends of God.